The Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) is pleased to announce the success of its “You Stay, We Pay” pilot program, launched to bring real economic results to small businesses, increase local tourism, and encourage visitors to explore the southwest Washington region during the winter months.
The Chamber partnered with Sonesta ES Suites Vancouver 41st Street and Best Western Premier Hotel at Fisher’s Landing to offer the first 65 guests who booked a two-night stay $75 in Grow the 360 gift certificates. These gift certificates work like cash when redeemed at participating restaurants, coffee shops, nail salons, boutiques, fitness centers, and other local attractions around the city. The program reimburses participating businesses 100 percent of the face value of the currency.
Thanks to the program's success, the Greater Vancouver Chamber was able to inject $5,000 into the local economy, while also providing a boost to the hospitality industry. Funding for the program was made possible by assistance from the City of Vancouver, Washington Lodging Tax Grant Program.
Participating hotels and businesses in the surrounding areas reported an increase in foot traffic, booking, and sales during the program period.
“We loved the ‘You Stay, We Pay’ and Grow the 360 programs. This was fun! The Grow the 360 gift certificates were a nice bonus to present to hotel guests. It gave them an opportunity to explore Vancouver and find places to eat and shop without any risk to them,” said Angie Hildebrant, Director of Sales at Sonesta ES Suites Vancouver 41st Street.
According to Thao (Bella) Bui, owner at LaBelle Nails & Spa, the Grow the 360 gift certificates program also helped her business to grow. “It is super easy to collect these gift certificates from my customers. I am impressed how the Chamber promotes my business and encourages local consumers and visitors to come and utilize my services. I love being a member of my local Chamber of Commerce,” said Bui.
After a successful pilot, the Greater Vancouver Chamber is planning to implement the “You Stay, We Pay” program on a large scale to continue helping small businesses to thrive, while at the same time positioning the southwest Washington region as a great tourist destination.
"We are overjoyed with the remarkable success of the 'You Stay, We Pay' initiative," stated Janet Kenefsky, Vice President of Operations for the Chamber. "Recognizing the need for our tourism industry and small businesses to receive a lift during the winter months, we took it upon ourselves to bolster local businesses and entice visitors to explore the diverse offerings across the city. It's gratifying to witness the program's positive influence on the local economy, with a program where people spend, on average, 38% more than the value of the gift card, further boosting economic growth. As we move forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to support the tourism industry and local businesses, fostering their ongoing prosperity and success."
The Grow the 360 gift certificates program experiences consistent purchases and redemption activity each day. However, Kenefsky noted, "It was truly remarkable to observe how this particular initiative inspired guests to utilize the gift certificates across a wide range of businesses, including nail salons, spas, and boutiques throughout the city, enriching the local economy and supporting a diverse array of establishments."
Source: Greater Vancouver Chamber